Episode #104: Interview with Gregory LaFollette

Ed and I were honored to interview Gregory L. LaFollette, CPA, CITP, CGMA

Biography

Greg is one of the most recognized and respected voices on technology within the accounting profession. He has a broad background in the field, having spent time in private practice, as an executive with a top-tier technology vendor and as an editor of a leading publication keyed to accounting technology. He is also a sought-after speaker at trade shows and conferences.

Prior to joining CPA.com, Greg was a consultant to public accounting firms and to technology vendors with a focus on the accounting profession. Additionally, he was the Executive Editor of TheTechGap — the country’s first blog specifically created for the tax and accounting profession and for vendors who seek to serve that community, and Senior Manager of Tax and Technology Consulting with the Top 25 firm of Eide Bailly, LLP.

Earlier in his career, Greg served as the Executive Editor of The CPA Practice Advisor (formerly The CPA Technology Advisor), VP of Product Strategy at ThomsonReuters Creative Solutions, and founding partner at LaFollette, Jansa, Brandt & Co., LLP in Sioux Falls, SD. He served on the AICPA’s CITP Credential Committee (Chair), the National Accreditation Commission (ad hoc via the Credential CITP Committee), the Top Technologies Task Force, the TECH+ Planning Committee, and the Journal of Accountancy Technology Advisory Board.

Greg completed his professional training at Augustana College (SD) and is a CPA, a CITP, and a member of the AICPA Information Technology Division. He is a graduate and former staff lecturer at the AICPA’s National Tax Institute.

He and his wife Kaye have one grown daughter and choose to live in their hometown of Sioux Falls, SD.

Discussion

We had a wide-ranging discussion, including:

Why Greg changed his mind on no timesheets (it wasn’t Ron’s screaming at people to trash them).

The #1 Issue facing the profession?

Some of the major trends happening in the accounting profession?

The implications of the Richard and Daniel Susskind book, The Future of the Professions.

The impact of Blockchain, Bitcoin, AI, Deep Learning, and PriceWaterhouseCooper’s HALO audit software—that runs algorithms through entire data sets—no more audit sampling.

On driverless cars, Greg thinks his grandchildren will be alive when the Supreme Court has to decide whether humans should be allowed to drive, since we are so unsafe.

He also proposed a ratio to determine if an industry (or firm) is being disrupted by a new business model driven by technology:

            Legal Expenses / Technology Exp

If you were to run the music industry’s ratio during the Napster imbroglio, Greg’s point is an excellent one!

Thanks, Greg, for appearing on The Soul of Enterprise.

Comment

Ed Kless

Ed Kless joined Sage in July of 2003 and is currently the senior director of partner development and strategy. He develops and delivers curriculum for Sage business partners on the art and practice of small business consulting. Courses include: Sage Consulting Academy, Business Strategy and Customer Experience Workshops. Ed is the author of The Soul of Enterprise: Dialogues on Business in the Knowledge Economy, a compendium of a few of the episodes of his VoiceAmerica talk-show The Soul of Enterprise: Business in the Knowledge Economy with Ron Baker, founder of the VeraSage Institute where Ed is also a senior fellow.